My wife and I are very simple. All we wanted when we got married was each other. We didn’t need a big wedding and we never wanted one. We didn’t have much money and the fact that we didn’t want or need a big wedding was perfect because if we had we wouldn’t have been able to afford it anyway. We are simple and we wanted to keep things simple. The way we do things some would view as unorthodox and to that I couldn’t disagree. We do things the way we do because that is how we are. We do what makes us happy. When we first started dating, when I first had the chance to speak in person to the then future Mrs. Craft I knew that this was a person that I did not want to be away from. From that point on we have been inseparable.
Our relationship advanced in a welcomed hurry. We dated for a month before we introduced her to my two children. A month after that we moved in together. After the happiest year of my life I knew that I would be blessed if I could convince this amazing woman to marry me. I rubbed my hands together and tried to come up with the most dastardly plan that I could to trick her into living with our ladies and me forever. In the end I think I rambled, begged, and pleaded and I think in pity of the foolish she reluctantly agreed. After she did I let out an evil laugh, rubbed my hands together and twisted the ends of my curly mustache. My plan had worked.
Now we had a wedding to plan! The problem was that now we had a wedding to plan. Weddings are expensive and keeping our budget and financial futures in mind we didn’t have a means of having an expensive wedding. We talked about simply going to the courthouse and getting married that way. Not romantic or memorable I know, but very inexpensive. We talked about having it at a church filled with our loved ones. We had an offer from a neighbor of my parents who was a minister to marry us on their front porch on any night of the week we wanted. We had a decision to make and that decision involved a budget, a venue, and a date.
I calculated what we could afford and that huge figure was $500. Not impressive, I know, but keep in we make each other incredibly happy. Sometimes when you are doing without, as my grandparents would say, as long as you are in good company it isn’t so bad. I’m in fantastic company and as long as I have her things are never bad. We were saving for a house and had a plan. We knew the more we spent on our wedding the longer it would take us to get a house.
We had a budget of $500 and aimed to stretch it as far as we could. Family helped us tremendously. Not with money but with HELP. My stepfather spoke to a preacher that he knew and the pastor told us that we could absolutely use his church. He agreed to marry us and because he loved my mother so much they let us use the church for free!
I had a suit already but needed a different button down shirt. We found one at a local store and got lucky because they were on sale. I bought the shirt that I was married in for less than $10. My wife needed a dress and wanted something simplistic. She went shopping and found one that was satisfactory. As a wedding gift my gorgeous mother-in-law bought it for her. Our ladies needed new dresses and this was where we encountered our first big expense in our limited budget. We found a website online that had adorable dresses and we let them pick out the one that they wanted. Their dresses were over $50 each, which is not very expensive, but keep in mind we had designated a very small budget. With wardrobe purchases we had less than $400 left.
We didn’t want to be a burden on our families to the point to where they had to work extremely hard to help us prepare so when it came to determining what we would do for food we needed to decide how many guests we would have. We couldn’t afford to feed a large amount of people and we didn’t want to ask our families to cook food for us. They would have absolutely but we wanted this to be simple and SMALL. We decided to have us, our little ladies, her parents, her sister and brother-in-law, and my parents as our VIP and the only guests at our wedding. So far we had a venue, we had our wardrobe, we had our guest list, and we were still on budget.
When I asked my wife to marry me I did not have a ring. It’s a bum move, right? My lady is particular and I knew that she did not want a diamond. I wasn’t sure which ring she would like best so we had a plan to let her pick the one she wanted. It was a search that was long and would still be going if we did not need it for the ceremony I think. We like things that are homemade and the wedding ring that she chose was one that was hand designed and homemade by a lovely woman that she found on Etsy. We found mine there also and it is handcrafted out of buffalo horn. In total we spent $250 on our wedding rings. This depleted our budget down to nearly $150.
The next thing was to set a date. We started officially dating on February 28th and a year from that date we decided would be the date to officially start our marriage. We chose not to decorate, but we did buy flowers for our ladies so that they could be gorgeous little bridesmaids. These cost $20 and dropped us to $130.
We were married and I gave the pastor, who was so good to us, $50. At first he refused and waved me away with a laugh but I had to point out to him that my mother was watching and would beat us both if he did not accept. Reluctantly and with a sheepish hunch of his shoulders he slowly took it from my hand, winked at me, and waved at her. She smiled and he and I breathed a sigh of relief. This brought us down to $80 left. After we left the church we went to eat and spent the remaining $80 on a lunch that was the best you could get with $80. We went to Cracker Barrel and it was amazing.
Our wedding was not extravagant. It was not full of decorations or guests or tawdry things that would find their way to the garbage just after. Our wedding consisted of the people that we loved most seeing us officially become a family. They were there to witness us tell one another how much the other was loved and how badly we wanted to spend the rest of our lives together. How do you put a price on that? You can’t, but all I had to spend to get it was $500.